Record Store Day First Releases
Albums that get their first release on Record Store Day before being released on a wider scale a month or so later
With His Hot and Blue Guitar
Cry! Cry! Cry!, Folsom Prison Blues and I Walk The Line weren't the work of a grizzled, world-weary Johnny Cash: They were singles off his first album from 1957.
This record was Sam Phillips' first LP release for Sun Records and was made possible largely by the work of Elvis Presley, whose early Sun recordings and proceeds from his contract's sale to RCA Victor helped bankroll artists including Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.
This album was reissued once before in 2002, but has been out of print for a number of years. Only 3,000 blue vinyl versions are being released, which makes this yet another outside shot on our list.
The Long Goodbye (LCD Soundsystem Live At Madison Square Garden)
We couldn't come up with a more appropriate title for this album.
In 10 years and three studio albums, James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem inspired a generation of musicians and made a huge bit of music/New York/Brooklyn/cultural/hipster/Pitchfok folklore with their final concert on April 2, 2011 at Madison Square Garden. That show still hasn't ended.
It was streamed on Pitchfork when it happened, it's been available on video since in various formats for years, it got its own documentary called Shut Up And Play The Hits and now gets the box set treatment for Record Store Day. We can only imagine that James Murphy had to disband LCD Soundsystem just to have enough time to cobble this together, but he has a dedicated audience out there that's willing to shell out just to make sure that the band's last night always begins with New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down and never ends.
In 1994, there was no Dirty South beyond Luke and 2 Live Crew's Miami Bass. There was no Ludacris, T.I., Master P, Birdman, Lil' Wayne, Lil' Jon, Three 6 Mafia, Trick Daddy or Rick Ross -- no Oscars for Hustle and Flow or Terrance Howard as a pimp. There was East Coast, West Coast and a dude in Miami who had half naked women in videos that were only shown on The Box or late-night BET.
This album changed all of that. Laid back and laden with funk, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik was nothing that hip-hop north of the Mason-Dixon or west of the Florida Panhandle had been ready for. It wasn't just a thematic and cultural difference, but a slow-and-low brand of hip-hop with something to say beyond Big Boi and Andre 3000's drawl. It's hard to believe now, but 20 years ago when this album was first released, it was somewhat lost in a flood of great hip-hop releases including Dr. Dre's The Chronic, Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The 36 Chambers, Nas' Illmatic, Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die and A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders and Gang Starr's Hard To Earn.
In that environment, Outkast lived up to its name. Six years later, Outkast would not only be firmly in hip-hop's mainstream, but redefining it.
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
"I got a letter from the government the other day/I opened it and read it and it said they were suckers."
Chuck D and the Bomb Squad didn't have a whole lot of time for semantics back in 1988. The crack epidemic was moving through their city, racial tension was repeatedly coming to a head with fatal consequences for the city's black citizens and hip-hop and the expression that came with it was still being treated as a second-class art form.
That's why they spent their second album getting down to business and straight-up dropping bombs. Bring The Noise asserted hip-hop's presence and let everyone know it was sticking around a while, but Don't Believe The Hype, Night Of The Living Baseheads, Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos and Rebel Without A Pause showed what it was capable of. It raged at the crack epidemic and the double standard of Wall Streeters bumping lines off their desks downtown. It shouted down the prison industrial complex and the criminalization of poverty.
It landed with a blast that everyone heard and opened a generational fissure between those that listened to what Chuck D was saying and those who didn't want to hear it. This reissue comes with a lenticular cover with an image that changes depending on the angle you're viewing it from, but 26 years haven't taken the edge off this record from any vantage point.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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